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College Volleyball: Raiders sweep Vermilion at home

With the win the Raiders stayed perfect in division play at 7-0 and moved their overall record to 11-4.

Grace Peabody
Grace Peabody
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BRAINERD — A great service game, a scrappy defense and multiple contributors were keys for the Central Lakes College Raiders as they swept Vermilion 3-0 in a Northern Division matchup Friday, Sept. 23.

Grace Peabody led the way with a kill, 15 set assists, five ace serves and 12 digs. Megan Rinicker notched seven kills, one ace serve, two digs and three blocks.

With the win the Raiders stayed perfect in division play at 7-0 and moved their overall record to 11-4.

Two stats stuck out for the Raiders in the win. Six different players had at least two kills, led by Rinicker’s seven and four from Jaime Johnson. But Kalli Papenfuss, Kaitlyn Hines, Emersen Millar and Morgan Majerus were also a force at the net against an Iron Hawks team with just three bench players.

“That can happen for us when we are ahead and they (Vermilion) have multiple places that aren’t as strong,” head coach Jane Petesrson said. “We can spread it out and we did a good job of getting it to everybody and not having to set it to Megan and Jaime so many times.”

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The Raiders built a 12-4 early lead in the first game with two kills from Hines and one from Johnson. But a defense hitting on all cylinders forced attacking errors as the Raiders won the first game 25-15.

The defense, led by Jenna Pelnis, Gabbie Enneking and Peabody could be one of the best defenses Peterson has had in recent years. Pelnis scooped 16 digs along with 12 from Peabody.

Earlier in the season, Peterson asked her blockers on the front row to make an adjustment, and it’s paying big dividends for the back row.

“Sometimes we have problems with the blockers reaching back or covering territory that isn’t theirs,” Peabody explained. “It is about trust in your back row so we have been working on letting our defensive players defend the ball.

“We have the team chemistry on the back row with all of the balls that we are going to get and it is really fun when we play scrappy, which we have gotten really good at and our communication has improved and we are all on the same page.”

The Raiders jumped out to a quick lead in Game Two with a tip from Peabody giving the team a 10-3 lead. The Iron Hawks were never able to get going and a nine-point run by the Raiders ended in a 25-8 victory.

In the final game, Peabody started with the serve and the Raiders ran off eight points with two coming on aces. They coasted to a 25-13 win to close out the match.

Peabody explained her approach to the serving game.

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“I focus on hitting the corner or the relative zone more than anything,” she said. “You don’t want to aim for the player. You want to aim for the sidelines and the end line. I try to envision a line of where I want it to go and go from there.”

“She was putting it in different places, not the same one over and over again,” Peterson said of Peabody’s serving. “If you can serve it to the short corner and then to the deep corner — we practice that all the time and it is a matter of confidence. She can do it in practice all the time and we were working on doing it under pressure.”

Peterson previously noted that the team hasn’t been quick starting in many games this season, but it was different Friday and the service game played a big part.

“Serving is a pressure filled event,” Peterson said. “It’s just you and the ball and it is the only skill you have total control over. So when you make a mistake, it is all your problem. We didn’t have to worry about serving too aggressively tonight and I think that took a lot of the pressure off.”

Vermilion 15 8 13

Central Lakes 25 25 25

Raider statistics

Kalli Papenfuss 2 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks

Allison Dornseif 11 set assists, 7 digs

Kaitlyn Hines 2 kills

Gabbie Enneking 1 dig

Jenna Pelnis 6 set assist, 2 ace serves, 16 digs

Grace Peabody 1 kill, 15 set assists, 5 ace serves, 12 digs

Megan Rinicker 7 kills, 1 ace serves, 2 digs, 3 blocks

Jacey Rydberg 1 dig

Morgan Majerus 2 kills, 2 digs

Jaime Johnson 4 kills, 1 ace serve, 4 digs, 2 blocks

Emersen Millar 3 kills, 1 dig

Natalie Pedersen 2 blocks

Nana Lopez 1 dig, 1 block

Division: CLC 7-0. Overall: CLC 11-4. Next: Central Lakes hosts Fond du Lac noon Saturday, Sept. 24, and Lake Region State College 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

Related Topics: LOCAL SPORTSCOLLEGE VOLLEYBALLCENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE
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